Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nashville Hosts Special Guests from the UK!

On Tuesday, Nashville residents and staff had the awesome privilege of hosting some very special guests all the way from the United Kingdom!

Ben and Deb Cooley are the Founders of Hope for Justice, a non-profit ministry in the UK that exists to rescue victims caught in human trafficking, see their lives restored, and pursue justice by prosecuting those responsible for this horrific crime. This amazing couple shared the vision of their ministry including some of the heart-wrenching stories about young women they have worked with. Everyone was stirred as Ben shared how he and his team literally go into some of the darkest places to rescue victims trapped in sex slavery. Deb also took time out to describe the different types of human trafficking and encouraged everyone to partner with God in saving those who are lost or hurting.

Nancy Alcorn with Ben and Deb Cooley

As Mercy Ministries becomes even more intentional about serving young women who have been victimized by sex trafficking, it is so exciting and humbling to see how God is connecting our ministry with people all around the world who share the same heart and spirit.

Here is what some of the Mercy Girls had to say in response to their time with the Cooleys:

Kelly said, “I did a lot of research on the issue of sex trafficking in graduate school, but hearing about it again has rekindled my desire to be a part of the solution. Ben Cooley’s message about taking down giants has inspired me to be a more passionate and consistent risk taker.”

Crissie said, “There are millions of girls out there in slavery who go through a lot of pain and suffering each day. My heart hurts for them because I have experienced similar abuse, but now I realize that God sent His Son into the world to seek and to save those who are lost.”


Then, later that afternoon, residents had the wonderful opportunity to hear a message from International speaker, author, and Founder and Director of Heartcry for Change Ministries, Rachel Hickson. After almost losing her life in a horrific car accident in Zimbabwe, Rachel was miraculously healed, and since that time, has had a desire to pray, train others to pray, and see cities transformed by the power of prayer. Based out of Oxford, England, Heartcry’s aim is to encourage the local church to connect with their own communities and bring a practical message of hope to those in need. The Mercy girls loved and appreciated Rachel’s loving and nurturing personality.

Rachel Hickson, Nancy Alcorn, and Helen Azer

Here is what a few of the girls had to say about Rachel’s visit:

Alexis said, “So often, I look at the world and get overwhelmed by the need to try to save everyone. When Rachel described what she did to help others, it made me realize that if I am obedient to God, He will use me in a mighty way. I am God’s SECRET WEAPON!”

Katie said, “I was impacted seeing Ms. Rachel’s passion for Christ in her life. Like her, I want to live out the dreams that God has planted inside of me.”


Mercy Ministries considers it a huge privilege to partner with amazing people like Ben and Deb Cooley and Rachel Hickson in the work they are doing. To learn more about Ben and Deb Cooley or Hope for Justice, visit To learn more about Rachel Hickson and Heartcry for Change Ministries, visit